Since the boat had been neglected for so long and had all those dings going to the fiberglass, it was important to put on a barrier coat before the anti-fouling paint. I first looked at putting on a barrier coat from Pettit of Interlux, but decided to try to save some money. Both of their epoxy barrier coats were expensive and I had to put on a few layers before having enough paint on the bottom to work. I did not want to spend an additonal $500 for just the barrier coat.
So, I decided to try using a laminating epoxy from Fiberglass Coatings (FCGI) in St. Pete. I put on the first layer and it went on fine, then I put on a second layer and used one of their color additives. The additive did not make the paint opaque, so the overall look was funky, to say the least. This is not to say that they FCGI product was ineffective, but it did not look nice. And we all want our boats to look nice, even on for a paint layer that will probably never be seen again!
While, I was putting on the epoxy barrier coat, I noticed that West Marine was having a sale on Pettit H2O Epoxy Primer. I called Pettit and their tech rep said that it was appropriate for underwater applications such as barrier coats. I bought two gallons and it was enough for two coats on the bottom. This, in conjunction with the FCGI epoxy added up to 4 coats of barrier paint! Plenty to ward off water intrusion and potential blistering, which was one of the main reasons for putting on a barrier coat.
Time will tell, if it holds out, but the 4 coats of epoxy will certainly help. I will go over the final step in my next post. Always on the lookout for a deal, I got an outstanding deal in Pettit Trinidad from Defender Marine.